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Dell to acquire SecureWorks

Dell has agreed to acquire Security-as-a-Service provider SecureWorks Inc. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close early this year, were not disclosed Tuesday.

Atlanta-based SecureWorks has more than 2,900 clients worldwide, including several Global 500 companies. It processes more than 13 billion security events and sees more than 30,000 malware specimens a day.

“Dell's global scale and relationships with clients provides a tremendous opportunity to rapidly expand SecureWorks' business,” said Michael Cote, CEO and chairman of SecureWorks. “With Dell's commitment to our clients, our team and our market, I am confident that SecureWorks will flourish as part of the Dell Services organization and that our clients will continue to be well-served and well-protected by the services on which they rely.”

SecureWorks has more than 1,500 banks and credit unions as managed security services clients.

“The frequency and sophistication of attacks on technology infrastructure and malicious attempts to access data, requires reliable, capable and innovative information security,” said Peter Altabef, President, Dell Services, in the statement. “SecureWorks is a recognized industry leader in information security services and its offerings and expertise will immediately enhance our solutions portfolio.”

This is the second acquisition in recent weeks for Dell. Last month, the company said it will acquire data-storage company Compellent Technologies Inc. for $820 million.

It's also the latest in a wave of major security acquisitions in the past year. In August, for example, Intel announced it was acquiring antivirus giant McAfee.

In a statement on its website, SecureWorks said the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in early 2011.

Meanwhile, Dell plans to maintain SecureWorks' current operations and continue to make investments in enhanced security offerings.

SecureWorks has grown via acquisition itself, picking up VeriSign's managed security services business and DNS Limited last year. The latter move gave SecureWorks a foothold in the European market.

SecureWorks and Dell had an existing partnership. Earlier this year, the companies announced plans to deliver a set of SMB-focused security services, including around-the-clock monitoring and Web application scanning.

Dell is buying into a growing market segment. Managed security services providers in North America accounted for $1.8 billion in revenue during 2009 and that number is expected to rise to $2.3 billion this year, according to a recent Gartner report.

The acquisition will bring Dell into closer competition with security service providers such as Verizon Business and Symantec. It also seems to dovetail with other recent Dell acquisitions, such as storage vendor Compellent.

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